living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai Voted One of the World’s Top Cities (that’s right, AGAIN!)

Via: City News – Chiang Mai

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The city came in at 21st, while Bangkok was ranked 13th in the Top 25 Cities in the World category of the Readers Choice Awards 2014.

“The culinary capital of Thailand, Chiang Mai’s laid-back vibe is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and the crowded beach resorts of the south,” according to the award announcement. “There are several excellent cooking schools and a popular market scene whose standout is the night bazaar on Chang Klan road – the place to try khao soi, a steaming bowl of yellow curry noodles.”

Six Thai resorts appear in the Top 20 Resorts in Asia category, including the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle Chiang Rai in second place and the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort and Spa at eighth. The Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is in 20th place.

http://chiangmaicitynews.com/news.php?id=4601

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November 6, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Cheapest Places to Retire WELL

Via:Huffington Post

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1) Chiang Mai, Thailand ($920)

Not 1) Cuenca, Ecuador ($1,010)

Not 1)Dumaguete, Philippines ($910)

Not 1) George Town, Malaysia ($1,070)

Not 1) Granada, Nicaragua ($1,040)

Not 1) Istanbul, Turkey ($1,045)

Not 1) Nha Trang, Vietnam ($680)

Not 1) Samana, Dominican Republic ($1,155)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-peddicord/best-places-to-retire-overseas_b_5716909.html?utm_hp_ref=fifty&ir=Fifty

Note: Keyword – WELL

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September 5, 2014 Posted by | cost of living | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – 9 Top Havens for Expat Retirees

Via: U.S. News & World Report

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Asia:

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Estimated expat population: 20,000+

Chiang Mai has been luring expats from the West for years. The attraction is twofold–the low cost of living and housing and the weather.

The high quality health care and health-related services are other big pluses for foreign retirees in this part of the world.

The city boasts modern infrastructure and an abundance of Western amenities.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/9-top-havens-expat-retirees-142051392.html

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Photo:

TrekEarth – Amit Raj Singh

http://www.trekearth.com/members/amitrajs/

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Personal Note:

I retired nine-years ago, and have been living in Chiang Mai.

Good Gawd Almighty, I LOVE Chiang Mai!

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September 1, 2014 Posted by | cost of living | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chaiang Mai – Songtaew fares slashed in HALF!

Via: City News – Chiang Mai

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Suriya Prasartbandit announced at the local government’s weekly press meeting that after the recent re-organisation of public transport around the city, he now plans to REDUCE the cost of songthaews to 10 baht per journey and five baht for students. The current price for a journey is 20-30 baht. 
 
The re-organisation has solved some problems regarding public transport in Chiang Mai, but according to the Chiang Mai Transport Cooperative Limited – which represents songthaew drivers – many problems still need to be addressed.
 
Chiang Mai currently has 2,700 registered songthaews, with 550 of these organised into 11 specific routes around the city.
 
The announcement has been made following complaints by drivers that not only is there a lack of customers but that the newly assigned routes are hardly used. Drivers also highlighted the price difference between songthaews that drive on specific routes and those that can take passengers anywhere.
 
The governor hopes that by reducing the cost and making every songthaew charge the same price, people will be encouraged to use public transport more often. Prices will be lowered and price placards changed from September 1.
 
However, the response by the public and drivers has been mostly negative, with many people saying that 20 baht is still very good value for money and that they would worry about the overall loss of income for the drivers.
 
One songthaew driver commenting on CM108’s website said the daily cost of rent and petrol is around 850 baht a day. Under current pricing, drivers receive on average around 1,200 baht per day, leaving around 400 baht to take home. Under the new plans, the driver said, he would have to have more than 200 customers per day to match his current income – which he suggests would be impossible.
http://www.chiangmaicitynews.com/news.php?id=4398
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Personal thought:
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I think the people who rely on their car/motor-bike, will continue to rely on their car/motor-bike.
Reducing the songtaew drivers revenue by half, will greatly the numbers of songtaews on the road.
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I will continue to pay 20-baht.
why?
Because I can.
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August 30, 2014 Posted by | transportation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Lady-boy Novice Monk Arrested for Stealing Money From Spa

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Chiang Mai police have arrested a 17-year-old novice monk accused of stealing 20,000 baht ($625USD) from a spa.

The monk – whose name is being withheld as he is under 18 – told police that he had committed several thefts, and afterwards went out to bars dressed in a wig and women’s clothes, one report said.

CityNews reported last week that the monk had walked into a spa and ordered a large amount of spa products, saying they were a present for a senior monk.

CCTV footage shows that while staff were packing the products, he walked to the counter, opened a drawer and took a bag containing the money, before leaving the premises.

Staff at the Oasis Spa on Sirimangkalajarn Road informed police from Phu Ping Palace station, and after studying CCTV footage the suspect was named as the 17-year-old novice monk, who had been arrested for robbery before. He was convicted of stealing goods from another monk in March 2013, and was released from juvenile detention in April this year.

He told police that after he was released from jail, he was secretly ordained and stayed in a temple in Pa Sang district, Lamphun. While there, he stole money totalling around 40,000 baht from the abbot on five occasions. He also stole 5,000 baht from a monk living in another temple, and 30,000 baht and a golden necklace from a woman supporting the monks. He also confessed to stealing a credit card after taking money from the spa.

http://chiangmaicitynews.com/news.php?id=4323

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Bad lady-boy, whatcha want
Watcha want, whatcha gonna do?
When sheriff John Brown come for you
Tell me whatcha wanna do, whatcha gonna do?

Bad lady-boy, bad lady-boy whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
Bad lady-boy, bad lady-boy whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

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August 5, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai Latest Hub For Bangkok Air

Via: AviationPros.com

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Bangkok Airways will turn Chiang Mai into its third airport hub and use it as a stepping stone to boost its coverage of Myanmar.

The privately owned carrier is set to launch three routes from the northern capital to link with Yangon and Mandalay in Myanmar as well as the northeastern city of Udon Thani (short trip to the ‘Friendship Bridge’ – Vientiane, Laos)  in late October, according to insiders.

Services to Yangon and Mandalay will strengthen the airline’s footprint in Myanmar, tapping fast-growing traffic demand.

Bangkok Airways is already the largest provider of flights from Thailand to Myanmar, operating three routes from Bangkok to Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw with a combined 40 flights a week.

http://www.aviationpros.com/article/11457995/aviationproscom-gets-responsive-design

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I predict:

1. Bangkok Airways will expand the Chiang Mai hub to include China.

2. Air Asia will follow suit and make Chiang Mai a hub, but will include: Myanmar, China Nepal, and India.

soon

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July 25, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – 1960 flood

Via: Teak Door

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See more photos of Siam/Thailand, HERE:

http://teakdoor.com/famous-threads/39970-siam-thailand-bangkok-old-photo-thread.html

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July 17, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Suriwongse Theatre as seen in 1958

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See more photos of Siam/Thailand, HERE:

http://teakdoor.com/famous-threads/39970-siam-thailand-bangkok-old-photo-thread.html

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July 13, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Arbitrary arrests of Burmese migrants continue

Via: Democratic Voice of Burma

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Arbitrary arrests of Burmese migrant workers continue happening in Chiang Mai, with many saying that the Thai police would only release them after a “protection fee” was paid.

Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand, has been home for many years to thousands of Burmese migrants. Since the military coup earlier this month, Thai security police have been conducting random raids around the city and detaining people without identification cards. Despite these reports, the new ruling junta has denied that any “crackdown” against undocumented migrants is taking place.

On Monday, eight Burmese migrants in Chiang Mai’s night bazaar were nabbed by plainclothes policemen. Making up a large percentage of the workforce at the popular Chiang Mai market, Burmese migrants are often subjected to arrest by the police due to irregularities in their documents or work permits.

Thein Dan, who was among those detained, said he was freed shortly after he was taken to the Central Police Station because he has been paying a daily protection fee to a man with alleged police connections who came to secure his release.

“We were taken to the police station in the old city where the man who I have been paying the ‘protection fee’ came to get me out,” Thein Dan said, adding that three more were bailed out by their employer on Tuesday.

http://www.dvb.no/news/arbitrary-arrests-of-burmese-migrants-continue-in-chiang-mai-burma-myanmar/41632

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arbitrarybased on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

‘protection fees’ – arbitrary, hmm?

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June 20, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Labour Ministry Speculates There are 2.3 Million Illegal Workers

Via: City News – Chiang Mai

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According to statistics published yesterday, 18th June, by the Department of Employment, the number of immigrants employed in the country total over 2.3 million people – a majority of which come from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Mexico? (See Photo).

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The number of these workers who have their nationalities validated, however, amounts only (ONLY?) to 1.8 million people.

Foreign workers currently working under the inter-nation agreements total 373,880, and illegal workers in the fishing industry who have recently been processed as legal employees total 12,624.

These statistics are only based on the time period between the middle of last year and May this year; how these statistics have been affected by the mass exodus of immigrant workers leaving the country is unknown.

Thailand has also recently come under fire yet again from international newspapers about its part in modern day slavery, particularly among the fishing industry, where thousands of illegal workers are regularly beaten, enslaved and sometimes killed. It is very difficult to gauge how this industry will be affected by the fleeing workers.

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http://www.chiangmaicitynews.com/news.php?id=4079

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PHOTO:

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Chiang Mai, Thailand – Miquel’s ‘Real Mexican Food’

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And YES, they speak Mexican!

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June 20, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment